methMeth is one of the most addictive and most degenerative drugs on the market. Even after one hit, users clamor for more, almost animalistic in their impulse to get high. However, it is possible to lash back against the pressure of addiction and regain independence in sobriety.

One way to become stronger than your addiction is to understand your cravings and be prepared for them. Drug triggers are elements that evoke a memory of drug use, which in turn leads to cravings. In most cases, addicts can’t find the willpower to fight their cravings, and this eventually leads to use.

If you can stop the sequence early on, before you even reach the stage of cravings, you will likely find it easier to curb your cravings and stop use entirely.

Here are the most common Meth triggers.

Sights, Sounds, Smells: External Triggers

Every memory you have of Meth use is connected to an abundance of sensations. Whether it is a song you heard when you were high, or the smell of someone’s perfume during a drug-fueled sex party, you may find yourself salivating under the power of drug cravings when hit with those triggers again.

List out all the ways that your senses were affected when you were high on Meth, and you will have a list of triggers to avoid. This may include:

• Flashing lights and colors.
• Smells in your environment, from cleaning supplies to soap and even food or cigarette smoke.
• Sounds, especially music or someone’s voice or even the sound of a fan blowing.
• Environments that remind you of being high, such as the neighborhood of your dealer or the house you used to visit for Meth parties.

Thoughts and Emotions: Internal Triggers

Like all drugs, Meth is used to solve a problem or serve some purpose. Whether it was to address an internal struggle such as depression, loss or boredom, or to celebrate good news and spend time with friends, getting high is connected with some kind of internal thought or decision. These internal triggers can also elicit cravings and lead to relapse.

Internal triggers may include:

• Memories of lost loved ones.
• Feelings of embarrassment, anxiety or depression.
• Inactivity or boredom.
• Anger, rage or rebellion.
• Feelings of joy or excitement.
• Decisions made when high, such as, “He never really loved me anyway,” “I’m a loser,” and so on.

Dealing with Triggers

Once you are aware of your Meth triggers, you can take rapid action to prevent relapse.

First of all, cutting out any and all external trigger that you know of will minimize the number of times that you encounter a memory of being high. Change the soap you use if you know it is a trigger. Speak to your friends about changing anything that you know might elicit cravings. Avoid any environment that you know will remind you of being high. Cut ties with anyone who might act as a trigger, especially dealers and friends who are still using.

Another important step to take is to shift your attention toward areas that are far removed from your history as a Meth user. You might consider running or team sports. Take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Travel. Go back to school. Get busy with life in any way that gives you peace and joy and keeps your mind from your addiction.

In time, both external and internal triggers will fade away and you will not have to struggle so hard to stay sober. Remember that dealing with triggers and cravings is all part of recovery, and you can get through it.